DARLEY AWARDS Racing in the name of Quarter Moon Ranch LLC, Paddys Day was trained by Scott Powell and ridden by Kelsi Purcell. The bay colt won the $150,000 HH Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan Triple Jewel, in addition to 8 out of 11 starts (7 stakes races), and 2015 earnings of over $124,000. He was bred in Texas by Jane Teutsch, and is planned to assume an active 2016 campaign as well. The activities continued with a new addition to the Darley weekend, The $100,000 HH Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak Darley Award Stakes (G1) at Santa Anita Park, the historic racetrack that has seen the likes of Seabiscuit, Secretariat, Man-O-War, Zenyatta, and many others, and is widely considered the West Coast powerhouse of Thoroughbred racing. Darley Award guests received star treatment in the track’s Chandelier Room, as they enjoyed food, drinks, music, and an exciting day of racing that ended with the featured Arabian race to wrap up the card. And what an ending it was! Recently crowned Horse of the Year Paddys Day dueled with longshot Thess is Awesome (42-1) on a dramatic homestretch duel where Thess is Awesome pulled away and won by a head. The crowds loved it, and showed it in their betting activity, as the race handled over $700,000.00, making it one of the best-handled races of the day. So impressed were the management of Santa Anita with the whole affair—the race, the horses, the people, and the betting handle—that they brought the entire executive management team to the Darley Award Gala Dinner on Sunday night at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel. Also in attendance were Thoroughbred racing royalty who came to support this newfound relationship between Arabian racing and Santa Anita Park, including, Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith (jockey to Zenyatta), Hall of Fame jockey Victor Espinoza (jockey to California Chrome and American Pharoah), and Hall of Fame trainer Neil Drysdale. Keith Brackpool, Chairman of Santa Anita Park, even bought two breedings in the Arabian Racing Cup Live Stallion Auction that evening. “We sincerely haven’t had this much fun in a very long time,” said Brackpool as he addressed the audience that evening. He then proceeded to present a California State Senate Letter of Commendation in honor of the Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak Darley Award Stakes at Santa Anita. It was a pivotal moment for Arabian racing in the United States, and one that cannot be overestimated. Between the generous support of those like HH Sheikh Mansoor bin Zayed Al Nahyan, partnerships with tracks like Santa Anita Park, and growing awareness and participation from individuals in the epicenter of the racing community, the 2016 Darley Awards in Hollywood will go down as being a pivotal year in the massive expanse of Arabian racing, and in the highest fashion possible, of course! n
Evie Tubbs Sweeney is owner of Evie Inc. Social & Digital Media ((www.EvieInc.net) for the Arabian horse industry, and is a longtime enthusiast of Arabian racing. She resides in Santa Ynez, CA.
Ar abian Horse Times | 117 | Volume 47, No. 2